Caught in a trap, but I can’t leave
A 31-year-old resident of Jinsha village in the Xiangxi Tujia and Miao autonomous prefecture.
Iam in a dilemma. I want to leave the village and earn more money in a big city like I did before, but that’s not possible. Last year, my foster father died and my second child was born. The situation not only required money, but as the eldest child I had to handle all the arrangements.
Luckily, when I returned to the village after my spell as a migrant worker, I was given a job in the cured-meat factory owned by Liao Yanfei, the head of our village. Every day, I take a 20-minute walk from home to the plant, where I cut meat. I earn 2,000 yuan ($ 290) a month. When we add in my wife’s income — she also works in the factory — we have a total of 3,000 yuan a month.
I should be grateful for the life we live now because things have really improved since my schooldays when I only had 10 yuan a week, but with our low income it’s hard to alleviate the economic burden.
My wife is unable to breastfeed, so most of our monthly income is spent on milk powder for the baby, but my 10-year-old daughter and my sick mother also need money.
I want to go to Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, East China, where I worked before and earned more money, but I don’t want to leave my children and mother on their own.
Relief from poverty has helped me to find a source of income at home, but the pressure, especially the mental stress, remains and even grows. How I long to really escape from poverty and give my family a bright future, but what I really need is something to provide mental relief.
Que Xujie spoke with Cao Yin